MIDDLETON, Idaho — After the swearing-in of two new trustees, the Middleton School Board discussed several topics relating to the start of the school year and in what category the district should open in. Classes will start on September 8 for several reasons.
As of Monday, almost 1,300 students in the district have not registered for school. Due to the lack of enrollment, there could also be last-minute staffing challenges, including making adjustments for the online school. Webcams and audio devices are installed in around 40 percent of classrooms and some equipment, like laptops for teachers and students, has not arrived. The delay to the school year provides teachers with two extra days of training on the new equipment and preparing for the school year.
Trustees approved a request to change the reopening plan to allow for a limited number of students back on campus each week during the Red Category. It could mean one day of face-to-face teaching for students, Superintendent Kristin Beck said.
Trustees decided to take the next two weeks to develop standards and metrics for Middleton School District to determine what is the best stage to reopen without being locked into a category determined by the Southwest District Health Department.
Once those metrics are determined, the board can designate which category to reopen on September 8, and the district can communicate this information to parents in time for them to prepare for the start of school.
Board members also discussed masks and whether they should be required in Category 3 (red) if students returned to the classroom on a limited basis. It was decided that the language in the reopening plan to highly encourage masks will still apply. Board members additionally noted that they want to ask staff and students to please wear masks.
Athletic Director Andy Ankeny presented the Middleton School District IDHSAA Athletic/Activity Reopening Plan. Trustees approved the plan, with students returning to practice on August 17th and preparing to play games in September.